by Donna Byrd
When my children come and visit me for their yearly trek to the North Carolina coast, all the way from their hills of Tennessee, I like to impress them. I want them to be jealous that we have fresh seafood available year round. I pull out my tubby of colorful beach towels and show them my beach chairs folded neatly, leaning up against the back wall of the garage. My hot pink thermal insulated tote bag is right outside the back door, just waiting for them to fill it with ice and cold beverages so they can enjoy a drink by the beautiful sea. I want them to see that Momma has everything they need to have an awesome beach vacation and that there’s no need to ever visit any other place but “home.” Yes, I want to impress them so they will never want to leave!
Last week I found something else to impress them. My son, John, was visiting for a few days and wanted to eat seafood at a place that was on the oceanfront and had the kind of fresh, somewhat more high end, local fare that tickles the taste buds of a Nashville foodie.
A few folks at Treasure Realty (where my husband works) had been telling Bill about a place down on the north end of Topsail, a restaurant that boasted great food and the “best view on the North Carolina coast.” We decided to give it a try. There were so many great things being said about it, we had nothing to lose.
Located on the seventh floor of the St. Regis Condominiums, Ocean’s Edge (formerly known as The Topsail Shrimp House,) lived up to its reputation. We took the elevator up to the highest view on Topsail Island, glimpsing on our way up of a bit of what treat we were in for.
Nautical, happy aquarium scenes were painted on the brick walls across from our glassed in elevator. In between the scenes, you could see the lovely sound side as the sun was just setting.
We stepped out into the restaurant and realized we were caught up in a surreal atmosphere of the “wild blue yonder.” Floor to ceiling windows surrounded us on three sides of the huge dining room. The deepening blue of the early evening sky met the grey-blue of the Atlantic Ocean. To our right, the glow of orange and pink from the setting sun settled on a few wispy clouds. I felt like I was on a cruise having dinner, looking out over the sea.
We walked over to our table and I noticed the floor was a silvery blue. I couldn’t decide if it looked like the sky or the ocean on a summer’s day. It was so lovely, I could imagine myself dancing on it! All of a sudden, I didn’t care so much about what the food was going to taste like, I was in love with the view and the atmosphere!
We sat at our table by the window and to our delight, saw that it had a pair of binoculars. I thought that was a great touch! The thing was, we all wanted to use them at at one time because it was getting dark outside! It was great fun and I saw that the view had impressed my hard to impress son!
It took a while for our party of eight to put in our orders. The menu was rather extensive and our family is notorious for taking its time at making decisions. While we were exploring the menu, the chef was generous and sent us out the house’s favorite dish: Firecracker Shrimp. The lightly breaded shrimp in a creamy “Bang Bang” sauce went around the table quickly. It was delicious!
The menu has a little bit of everything. From casual style burgers, and sandwiches filled to the brim with tasty seafood, to magnificent fresh catches of the day and local seafood favorites, Ocean’s Edge offered something for everyone, including lovers and vegetarians. There were also some signature made-in-house sauces that put this Topsail restaurant on the top of my list of new favorite restaurants!
The orders came to our table rather quickly from the kitchen. Several of us couldn’t pass up the Classic Cheeseburger. My husband and my dad both agreed that it was the best burger they had ever had on the island. I got a great house salad, the Firecracker Shrimp for my entree. and a side order of creamy cheese grits. I was a happy girl! John,ordered the Yellowfin Tuna. It was cooked perfectly (medium ) and was presented beautifully on the plate. I had a few bites of it and yes, it was wonderful. One of our guests got the fish tacos. I never heard a peep from him. He was too busy eating!
Some of the guys ordered specialty beers. They all claimed the bar had a great selection to choose from. I had a margarita. What’s not to like about that? The sweet, the salty…it tastes like the ocean!
Jeahn Hogan, the restaurant’s event coordinator, stopped by our table to introduce herself. She said that they were very close to finishing the renovations they had started over a year ago and that the restaurant’s name was changing after Labor Day, to Ocean’s Edge, Oceanfront Dining and Event Center.
After Labor Day, the restaurant’s focus would shift to events, like weddings or military functions. I looked at the lovely dining room and could imagine a beautiful wedding reception there. Jeahn told us that they had package deals available. From weddings on the beach to the reception in the restaurant, they could give the wedding of your dreams.
This was interesting news to me. My daughter is getting married here on Topsail in April. Jeahn said they were booking April weddings now. I called my daughter and she’s looking forward to coming next month and taking a look at Ocean’s Edge to host her wedding. I think she’ll be impressed!
I loved Ocean’s Edge. The food and the view were amazing. What more could you want when dining out?
Ocean’s Edge is located at:
2000 New River Inlet Road, #2701 at St. Regis Condominiums
North Topsail Beach, 28460